A religious experience
The one thing you perhaps wouldn’t expect from a musical-comedy by South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (along with Robert Lopez of ‘Avenue Q’ fame), is subtlety. ‘Book of Mormon’, however, has it in spades. Yes, they take plenty of swings at organised religion, but they also give us lots of nuance too: these earnest religious types are not there simply as the butt of the joke. The story concerns two Salt Lake City Mormons who romp off to Uganda to see if they can spread the word in Africa. It is chockfull with genuinely brilliant, foot-stompingly good songs, which, yes, sail close to the wind, but are never anything less than laugh-out-loud funny. Many people have commented on just how redemptive and life-affirming the whole thing is and, I have to say, when I first saw the production it totally renewed my faith (faith in the power of musicals, that is).
The Book of Mormon, Wednesday 28 August-Saturday 7 September (not 1 September), Sunderland Empire, 7.30pm (mats Fri & Sat 2.30pm), from £13. atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire